Debuts the world’s first cotton-based performance material.
Ralph Lauren announces the debut of the RLX CLARUS® Polo Shirt exclusively at the 2022 Australian Open Tennis Tournament, showcasing the Company’s latest work in groundbreaking product innovation and sustainability.
“Ralph Lauren is known for timelessness – and for more than 50 years being timeless has meant both leaning into our heritage and fostering pioneering innovation. With the introduction of the RLX CLARUS® Polo Shirt, we are using our most iconic product as a canvas to launch an industry-changing and scalable textile technology –a high-performance apparel product that is created with natural fibers for the first time. We’re proud to build on the brand’s legacy of signature and authentic style, reinvented for the future,” said David Lauren, Chief Branding and Innovation Officer.
Made with the world’s first high-performance cotton fabric, the RLX CLARUS® Polo Shirt utilizes a first-to-market patented platform to transform virgin and recycled cotton in ways that were never before possible. The technology creates enhanced cotton fibers with high-performance attributes, like quick-drying and moisture management, while still retaining the comfort and breathability of cotton. The resulting material performs similarly to plastic-based synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon, that use petroleum-based fossil fuels to achieve performance benefits. The textile innovation was developed by Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. (NFW), a leading sustainable material science startup.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Ralph Lauren. Through this collaboration, we are paving the way for complete circularity with resulting materials that perform similarly to plastic-based synthetic fabrics,” said Luke Haverhals, CEO at NFW. “We are pioneering an entirely new system that simultaneously enables all-natural performance fabrics while reducing waste and eliminating the need for synthetic plastics.”
Ralph Lauren is committed to investing in the infrastructure and technologies to develop and scale a circular apparel economy – helping to ensure that clothes and materials can live on. As part of this, in August 2020, Ralph Lauren announced a minority investment in NFW to help scale their patented process and develop first-of-its-kind performance apparel made from natural, sustainable materials. Through this investment, Ralph Lauren looks to expand its use of recycled cotton, helping to advance the Company’s progress toward sustainably sourcing 100 percent of its key materials, including cotton, by 2025 and integrating zero-waste principles across its business. Over time, the partnership will enable Ralph Lauren to replace and reduce its reliance on non-biodegradable synthetics, such as polyester and nylon, while scaling the use of more sustainable and recycled materials.
Ralph Lauren has a track record and clear commitments to scale sustainability – from delivering innovation that supports circularity to creating more sustainable manufacturing processes. Recently-launched initiatives include: Color on Demand, a revolutionary dyeing platform that transforms how the fashion industry colors cotton; The Lauren Look, the Company’s first subscription apparel rental initiative that has the potential to reduce clothing waste by expanding the lifespan of apparel; The Earth Polo, crafted from thread derived entirely from recycled plastic bottles and dyed in an innovative process that uses zero water; and a continued focus on expanding the Company’s Manufacturing-on-Demand model through the Create-Your-Own (CYO) program. For more information, please visit https://corporate.ralphlauren.com/citizenship-and-sustainability.
During the 2022 Australian Open Tournament, Ralph Lauren will host an exhibition tennis clinic with a tennis legend, Sam Groth, and Josh Cavallo, professional Australian football player and avid tennis fan. Groth and Cavallo will wear the new RLX CLARUS® Polo Shirt during the clinic, demonstrating its superior performance qualities during the height of the Australian summer heat.
“I’ve been a longtime fan of Ralph Lauren – they’re a classic brand with incredible style and are always pushing boundaries to make really innovative, new products,” says professional Australian football player Josh Cavallo. “As a professional athlete who trains every day, it’s incredible to be able to wear a 100% cotton shirt that is stylish, has superior performance qualities and keeps me comfortable even on the hottest of days – all made with a sustainable spirit.”
The RLX CLARUS® Polo Shirt will make its exclusive debut at the 2022 Australian Open, before rolling out global distribution. Additional styles and colors, as well as women’s apparel, will be available in the coming weeks.